The Bruins fall in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA -- Call it a win for the Flyers and Boston charities.
Make it one blown opportunity for the Bruins to stand alone atop the Northeast Division.
Matt Read and Oliver Lauridsen scored 7 seconds apart to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
The Bruins are second in the Eastern Conference and lead the division. But the Bruins and Montreal both have 59 points. New Jersey beat Montreal 3-2 on Tuesday night. With three games left for Boston, and two for Montreal, the race for second will come down to the final week.
The Bruins are slumping down the stretch, with one win in their last six games.
"That was definitely a step back in our game," coach Claude Julien said. "Just really poor puck management tonight and poor decision making. To me, that’s a reflection of guys not being ready to play. At some point, they’ve got to take the accountability of being ready."
Wade Redden and David Krejci had goals for the Bruins.
Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek and Simon Gagne also scored and Steve Mason had 39 saves for the Flyers.
The Flyers paid tribute to Boston in the Bruins’ first road game since the Boston Marathon bombings. The Flyers showed a message on the video board that read, "From One Tough Town to Another." They also had video images of four blue-yellow ribbons that said, "Boston Strong," on each faceoff circle.
There was a pregame video set to "Carry On" by Fun that included clips of marathon first responders and other rescue personnel.
Flyers fans stood and cheered, and players from both teams banged their sticks against the boards when the pregame tribute ended.
Then Philadelphia pitched in with its wallets. The 50/50 raffle that usually supports Philadelphia charities went to onefundboston.org. The Flyers raised $85,595. Also, the Flyers were set to put their jerseys up for auction at meigray.com, with proceeds also benefiting onefundboston.org.
"I thought that was a very good presentation, and it’s unbelievable how the United States comes together with tragedies like this," Read said. "It just shows how strong the United States is, and how closely grouped the Boston area is."
With fans still on their feet from a stirring rendition of "God Bless America," Hartnell kept them there with a goal only 1:40 into the game. Hartnell, who missed a month with a broken foot, scored his eighth goal of the season.
Hartnell’s injury was just one of dozens suffered by the Flyers and a big reason why the team missed the playoffs. The Flyers had 11 players scratched for the game, with defenseman Kimmo Timonen joining the list Tuesday. Timonen has a compression fracture in his right foot.
General manager Paul Holmgren said before the game the Flyers could not use injuries as an excuse for underachieving.
"Good teams fight through stuff like this," Holmgren said. "We just didn’t find a way to fight through it. Is it a factor? Probably. But at the same time, you need to fight through these things. We didn’t."
Redden tied it late in the first period when he flipped the puck over Steve Mason’s left shoulder. He knocked in Jaromir Jagr’s rebound for his third goal of the season. Jagr played his first game in Philadelphia since he left the team as a free agent over the summer.
Jagr said he had the most fun of his career with the Flyers and wished a deal could have worked out. Holmgren said Jagr rejected a deal in February 2012. By the time free agency started, the Flyers had moved on to other free agents, including an ill-fated pursuit of Nashville defenseman Shea Weber.
The Flyers broke through for good in the second when Read and Lauridsen chased goalie Anton Khudobin.
Read struck first with his 11th goal when he batted in a rebound off Khudobin’s kick save with his left skate. Lauridsen didn’t do much to earn his first NHL goal. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara tried to clear the puck deep in the zone but somehow the puck slipped past Khudobin and into the net.
Khudobin slammed his stick against the post in anger and was yanked for Tuukka Rask.
Lauridsen sure wasn’t complaining about the goal.
"Why would I be (upset)? I just scored a goal," he said. "In 20 years, or a week from now, no one is going to ask me how that went in."
There was little else for the Bruins to celebrate.
"It wasn’t a good effort," Redden said. "Look at pretty much all their goals against us. There’s plays we need to make better and play harder in certain areas."
Voracek scored his team-best 21st goal early in the third for a 4-1 lead.
Krejci beat Mason to make it 4-2 and Boston seemingly still had time to rally. But as the goal was still being announced to the fans, Gagne took a perfect cross-ice pass from Claude Giroux and scored for his fifth goal.
"It’s not fun where we are at in the standings," Gagne said. "There are a lot of high expectations this year, but I think everything you’re doing right, it’s to help management to show what kind of team we have next year with those young players."
Notes: Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told Boston, "We stand with you," in a videotaped message. ... The ECHL’s Trenton Titans have ceased operations and the team will not compete in the 2013-2014 season. The Titans were a Flyers’ affiliate.
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